Chapter 36: Dark Side of the Bed

This lasted for half an hour. Eventually, Zhuang Xinmu stopped while Wu Zhou gave a sigh of relief. After thinking for a while, he asked his girlfriend tentatively, “I really spent all the money on food. A new restaurant opened recently near our company. It serves delicious dishes at a fair price. What about going there for lunch at noon?”
“Ok. Then let’s go at noon,” Zhuang Xinmu readily agreed. She intended to go and check for herself what kind of restaurant and what dishes that her boyfriend was so obsessed with.
“No problem Honey, you’ll definitely love it,” While patting his girlfriend, Wu Zhou said with a smile.
While the atmosphere at Wu Zhou’s place was cozy and sweet, it was much more serious at Yuan Zhou’s restaurant.
The matter had to be told starting from this morning, when Yuan Zhou felt he had not been getting enough sleep recently.
He had to wake up at 6:30a.m. Then knead the dough and chop the stuffing for the Soup Dumplings. This was difficult for Yuan Zhou to accept. He had never gotten up this early ever since he graduated from high school. Even during the time he worked at the 3-Star hotel, he was only required to arrive before 10:00a.m. Now, he finally managed to start his own business, but had to get up early instead.
Considering that today was Saturday and that the workers nearby should be enjoying their weekend, Yuan Zhou decided to sleep in. If nothing out of ordinary happened, he would have slept until 10:30a.m. However, something out of ordinary did happen.
“Why hasn’t the young master opened the restaurant yet?” Ever since the grandpa had been conquered by the Egg Fried Rice and the Soup Dumplings, he had become a loyal customer of Yuan Zhou’s restaurant. However, he only came once every three or five days, after all he also had to eat his wife’s cooking at home.
Of course he also brought along his wife, the grandma, with him today.
“Darling, are you sure it is open today?” the amiable silver-haired grandma stood beside the grandpa and asked in doubt.
“The restaurant is supposed to open in a while. Boss Yuan has only closed the restaurant once ever since he started his business,” Wu Hai walked up and said indolently.
“It is already 8:30 and the restaurant ought to be open any moment.” the grandpa looked at the watch.
“Arghh. I am hungry. The young master cooks such tasty Soup Dumplings. The only problem is the small amount.” The grandma smiled as she recalled the memory of Yuan Zhou’s Soup Dumplings.
With Yuan Zhou’s diligence and the old grandpa’s persistence, the grandma finally managed to taste the Soup Dumplings.
After being brought to the restaurant by the grandpa early in the morning, the grandma had high expectations. The Egg Fried Rice she had eaten last time was far too delicious. Even if she had been cooking her whole life, she could firmly say she couldn’t hold a candle to Yuan Zhou’s culinary skills.
The grandpa started ordering dishes deftly.
“Young master, I would like two servings of Soup Dumplings, with vinegar.”
Naturally, the prepared Soup Dumplings were served quickly. Only then did the grandma discover the power of the Soup Dumplings.
With the heat rising upwards and the fragrance spreading out from within, the Soup Dumplings mesmerized her.
Along with the slightly spicy taste of the ginger and the sweet flavor of the flour, the fragrance of the top-grade meat was very appetizing.
The crystal clear skin wrapped around juicy gravy, which in turn encased the delicious meat stuffing.
The small and exquisite bamboo steamer in emerald green, the almost transparent skin, the gravy and meat stuffing that can be clearly seen and also the appetizing fragrance formed an incomparably attractive gourmet picture scroll.
The grandma picked up the brown chopsticks and poked the seemingly fragile skin. When she realized it had excellent tenacity, she picked it up with her chopsticks without any hesitation and popped it into her mouth. Her actions mimicked the grandpa next to her.
“Slurp.”
The actions of the grandma caused the juicy gravy to flow into her mouth. The original flavor of the food along with the natural and fresh fragrance contained therein melded into a fantastic taste.
“Why are you all waiting here? Hasn’t Boss Yuan opened the door?”
A voice of a regular customer suddenly interrupted her recollection.
Unfortunately, it was only a memory just now. In reality, her stomach was growling repeatedly due to hunger. The grandma, even at her age, had to swallow a gulp of saliva.
“Not yet. It is driving us crazy.”
More and more people crowded outside the entrance. One of them said, “Who has Boos Yuan’s telephone number? We could just call him and ask.” It seemed to be a reliable idea.
Everybody looked at each other. However, they soon realized that none of them had it.
“Wu Hai, don’t you have his number? You live so close to him. Do you know what happened?” the grandpa asked.
“I don’t have it, either. I’m so hungry….” Wu Hai felt he was so stupid. He lived nearby, but had never thought of getting Yuan Zhou’s telephone number.
The wait lasted for an hour. It was already 9:00a.m. in the morning. Even though customers were increasing, there was still no sign of the door to the restaurant being opened.
“Forget it. I’ll drop by at noon. I feel that I’m getting hungrier just by standing here. I have to go and have my breakfast.”
After saying that, one of them left. Following the precedent, more than half of the crowd left, one after another, until only a few dozen of them remained there. Then after another thirty minutes, half of the dozen went away again.
Now only 7 or 8 customers were left there, still waiting. Wu Hai paced about anxiously, looking at the door from time to time, hoping it would open as soon as possible.
When he raised his head again, he found the window on the second floor where Yuan Zhou lived was open.
After thinking a little while, Wu Hai proposed, “The window of the second floor is open. Shall we try to call out to him?”
“It isn’t good to disturb the young master, is it?” In the grandpa’s opinion, people who had skills usually had tempers. However, it was nothing if he only had superb culinary skills.
“Never mind. What if Boss Yuan had an accident? Shout! Let’s do it together,” another man standing beside Wu Hai agreed to his idea without any slight hesitation.
“Let’s shout…”
Except for the old couple, all the remaining youngsters agreed to his proposal.
“Boss Yuan, Boss Yuan, are you there?” One yell after another came from downstairs.
It was so noisy that even residents living on the 5 floor opened up their windows to see what was going on.
Since Yuan Zhou was not in a deep sleep, he woke up with a fright.
After waking up, the first thing that Yuan Zhou did was to get up and sit on his bed in a daze.
5 minutes later, the shouts downstairs weakened.Yuan Zhou then lay back down and continued to sleep. Although he couldn’t fall asleep anymore, one could never wake up a person pretending to be asleep. Right now, Yuan Zhou was lying on his bed, staring into space. He decided to stay like that until 11:00a.m before opening the restaurant. The consequence of that was a delay in opening the restaurant.
………
When the time went to 11:05 a.m, Wu Zhou eventually opened the door of the restaurant.
“Boss Yuan, you really are home. Do you know you’ll lose lots of customers with this behavior?”
Wu Hai complained once the door opened with a grudging look on his face.
“Ok. Come in, please.” Yuan Zhou nodded his head and allowed him to come in.
Following Yuan Zhou, Wu Hai went inside the restaurant with a light step. His body emitted such a strong sense of anger that Yuan Zhou could even feel the temperature behind him falling by several degrees.
“What’s the matter with you?” Yuan Zhou entered the inside of the curved table and asked Wu Hai while looking at him.
“Hungry…Please, a set meal.” Wu Hai looked directly at Yuan Zhou. The state he was in was so pathetic that Yuan Zhou went to prepare the fried rice without saying a word.
Yuan Zhou prepared this serving of Egg Fried Rice with an unprecedented speed, thus in only two minutes, the dish was served. Having obtained what he had been longing for, Wu Hai’s grudge vanished. He just happily ate his fried rice, drank his seaweed soup and chewed his pickled radish in joy. One could hardly describe how delighted he was at this moment, as if his previous bad mood was merely an illusion.
One serving of Egg Fried Rice wasn’t much. No matter how carefully Wu Hai chewed and swallowed, it was all gone in half an hour. It was at this time when Wu Zhou brought his girlfriend into the restaurant. He even bumped into some customers who had left that morning.

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